Saturday, August 20, 2022
Micah Priest - Journey Church High School Student Pastor
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
The words from this morning’s portion of the Sermon on the Mount have become famously known as the “Lord’s Prayer”. You have probably heard it prayed in many different environments, whether it was in a movie, your family saying it before dinner, or mumbled in a locker room before a high school football game. Even though it’s recited in multiple places at different moments, I wonder if you have actually taken the time to not only read the words of Jesus in this prayer, but also understand the power behind what Jesus is actually getting at. Why? Because these words of Jesus can be an incredibly helpful tool you can use in order to guide your prayers with him.
Prayer is something that we all are probably working on. I know I am. Honestly, if I went around and asked my closest friends, family members, or high school students in our church, “What do you need to work on spiritually?”…I would venture to say that prayer would be one of the most popular answers. Why? For many reasons. Maybe prayer is something that is just awkward for us. Maybe because we don’t know how. Or maybe because we simply just don’t know what to say. Jesus understands, and this is what makes the Lord’s Prayer so powerful. Jesus gives us a template on how we can approach prayer.
To begin, Jesus calls us to praise our Heavenly Father and acknowledge his greatness. This positions our heart and mind to humble ourselves before God, recognizing his vast power, grace, and love.
Jesus then commands us to call upon God the Father and declare that his Kingdom would reign, and his will would be done “on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is a reminder for us to align our plans and thoughts with God’s good and perfect will.
After that, we are to ask God to provide for us physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is what he means by the phrase, “Give us today our daily bread,” knowing full well we need it daily.
We are then challenged to ask God to forgive us of our sins. This is another daily practice we need to be in the habit of doing. Then Jesus takes it a step further by telling us to forgive those who have sinned against us, in order that we may live in harmony with one another and God.
Lastly, we must desperately ask our Heavenly Father to lead us away from temptation and deliver us from the evil one (Satan). The reality is that we have no power against the Enemy on our own, but through Christ we can be delivered, healed, and restored.
What I love is that Jesus not only gives us this prayer template, but he also sets the example. Many times in the Bible, we read that Jesus continually separated himself from others in order that he could find solitude with his Father. If Jesus saw this as important, then we need to also.
I want to encourage you, as we are over halfway through our 21 Days of Prayer, to make your time with God a priority. And when you get stuck or off track, which will happen, to use this template as a prayer guide to realign your heart and mind to the ways of our Heavenly Father. Keep going and stay prayed up!
Instead of giving you a prayer, I want to encourage you to recite the Lord’s Prayer out loud. Pray through the template, making it personal as you go. You don’t need to use fancy words or say it out loud where everyone can hear you. Simply call upon his Kingdom, ask for provision, seek forgiveness for yourself and others, and request him to deliver you from temptation. Amen!
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.